Stampeders add to Elks misery with 56-28 road win

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EDMONTON — The Calgary Stampeders were more than happy to keep kicking their rivals while they are down.

Tommy Stevens scored four short-yardage touchdowns as the Stampeders helped the Edmonton Elks equal an unfortunate record for consecutive home losses with a 56-28 drubbing in the Labour Day rematch on Saturday.

Calgary starting quarterback Jake Maier was more than happy to allow his backup Stevens to step in and finish the drives.

“That was my role last year and it is a war in there,” he said. “I don’t think people quite understand what that environment is like in the trenches there. Him being six-five and 250 pounds, that is a load man and he is tough to stop. It is kind of will on will. Tommy, it couldn’t happen to a better guy, he is one of the best teammates I have ever had.

“This night was about him and how valuable he is for us.”

The Stampeders (8-4) have won three of their last four games and have scored more points in Commonwealth Stadium (105) in two games this season than the Elks have in six (101).

“Any time there was adversity, we responded well,” said Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson. “We responded with a score or moved the ball for a first down or a pick six. We made some plays, and it was across the board.”

Edmonton (3-10) tied a CFL record for most consecutive losses at home at 14, having not won at Commonwealth Stadium since Oct. 12, 2019. The home stretch of 14 losses ties the record for futility previously set by Ottawa in 1988.

“I'm embarrassed for our organization, I'm embarrassed for our coaching staff, I'm embarrassed for our players," said Elks head coach Chris Jones. "At halftime, we still had an opportunity, and then we did not give ourselves an opportunity to do anything in the second half.”

Edmonton got off to a bad start on its first possession as Calgary’s Trumaine Washington stepped in front of a pass from Elks quarterback Taylor Cornelius and went 45 yards into the end zone just three minutes into the game.

The Elks caught a break midway through the opening quarter, however, as Stampeder Peyton Logan fumbled on a punt return and the ball was recovered by Edmonton’s Peter Adjey on the Calgary 22-yard-line. That led to a Cornelius pass to Tanner Green who powered his way across the goal line for a 17-yard TD.

Calgary marched back down the field and regained the lead on a one-yard TD plunge by Stevens.

There was more first quarter bad luck for Edmonton as Calgary’s Charlie Moore blocked a punt and then recovered it on the Elks’ one-yard-line, resulting in a second short-yardage TD by Stevens.

Edmonton started the second quarter with a 24-yard Sergio Castillo field goal to make it 21-10.

The Stamps responded with a 15-yard field goal by Rene Paredes.

A 67-yard passing play to Elks receiver Dillon Mitchell would set up a 32-yard Castillo field goal before Paredes was good from the 20 to close out the first half with Calgary up 27-13.

Edmonton started the third quarter by conceding a safety and then took a pass interference call in the end zone which resulted in Steven’s third one-yard QB sneak.

The Elks still had some life in them late in the third as Cornelius found Jalin Marshall for a four-yard TD pass.

Stevens scored his fourth one-yard TD four minutes into the final quarter.

Calgary kept it coming with a 50-yard TD pass from Maier to Malik Henry.

Cornelius added an 11-yard rushing major for the Elks, who added a two-point convert with two minutes left on the clock.

The Stamps rubbed it in Edmonton’s face one more time as Ka’Deem Carey cut through the defence for a 40-yard TD run.

The Elks are back in action on Friday as they travel to Saskatchewan to face the Riders. The Stamps return home to tackle the B.C. Lions next Saturday.

FOOT NOTES: The Stampeders came into the contest as winners of all three previous meetings between the two teams this season, triumphing by a combined score of 105-47, which included a 26-18 victory in Monday’s Labour Day Classic in Calgary and a 49-6 victory at Commonwealth Stadium in Week 5. The Stamps last swept a four-game season series in 2012 and have now done so 12 times in team history to Edmonton’s five.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 10, 2022

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press